Educational Programs

PRESERVING JEWISH MEMORY - BRINGING HISTORY TO LIFE

Centropa offers a web-based educational program designed for schools in Europe, North America and Israel. We encourage teachers to teach European-Jewish history in the 20th century in an interdisciplinary way, and we design our materials to be innovative, interactive and international.

Innovative Online Platform

Our educational program is based on the 1,200 interviews with Jewish Holocaust survivors and 22,000 of their family pictures that Centropa collected since 2000. We have then turned some of the most compelling biographies into short multi-media films that are being used in more than 500 schools in 20 countries. So far, we offer more than 30 short, biographical films about European-Jewish family stories, as well as 10 brief documentary films. All films are between 3 and 30 minutes long and can easily be used in various educational settings, such as public schools, Jewish schools, Jewish congregational schools, university classes, and adult education. You will find all our films at www.centropa.org/centropa-cinema and you can download them free of charge. All photos and biographies can be found at www.centropa.org/search-our-database-jewish-memory.

Each film is accompanied by a historical study guide with background information, and we also offer teacher-tested lesson plans that illustrate how our films (and other educational materials) can be used in the classroom. These teaching materials can either be found right next to each film or at www.centropa.org/teaching-materials.

On our website, you can also take a look at our traveling exhibitions, at www.centropa.org/exhibitions. If you are interested in bringing the actual exhibition to your school, library or community center, send us an email and we will gladly discuss this with you. For more introductory information about our various exhibitions, click here.

Interactive Student Projects

Our program is supplemented by an interactive project site where students can upload their own projects, comment on other school projects, and get in touch with each other. In our Border Jumping Community, you can find student projects from all over the world, documented through photos, videos, power point presentations, and texts.

International Teacher Training

Centropa's seminars for teachers began in the summer of 2007, when we invited nine US high school teachers to Vienna and Budapest to give us feedback on our website and Centropa's early films. Since then, our education programs have grown each year and we now conduct local workshops, national, and international seminars in the US, Europe and Israel, and each year we bring together 60-75 educators from approximately 15 countries for our annual Summer Academy in Central Europe.  Our programs are available in English, Hebrew, German, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Polish, Lithuanian and Romanian.

Teachers use our materials to teach history, languages (German, English as a second language), language arts, ethics and values, Holocaust, 20th century Jewish history, film-making, and photography.

We are currently working in

  • Public, charter, private and parochial schools throughout the United States, with a current special emphasis on schools in Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina

  • European public schools in: Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Greece, Macedonia

  • Teacher trainers, curriculum writers, museum educators, as well as (US) city, county, and state school boards and (European) ministries of education

  • Public schools throughout Israel

  • Jewish middle and high schools throughout North America

  • Jewish elementary and high schools in England, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Croatia

  • Jewish supplemental schools and adult education courses in the United States

Although we have somewhat different goals with each group of teachers, our three universal goals are to:

  • connect us all to the lands of Jewish heritage by creating programs about the entire 20th century, not only about the period of the Third Reich

  • use these programs in innovative ways so that Holocaust education will have relevance everywhere

  • to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial by creating programs that students carry out themselves, and share with other students across borders, oceans, and ethnic divides.

Centropa's educational programs are unique for a variety of reasons:

  • the vast majority of our programs are based upon the family stories and tens of thousands of photos we digitized and now have online

  • all of our programs were created through the continual feedback of classroom teachers in all the countries in which we work.

  • our educational resources are produced by teachers in our network, and this means they are designed by those who work with teens and teacher trainers, and they are classroom-tested

  • we continue to collaborate with our educators after the seminars and summer academy, creating ongoing relationships in which our teachers become part of the Centropa team through their own presentations at Centropa workshops, their leadership in conducting local adult education classes or leading book groups, and representing Centropa at professional conferences 

 

If you would like more information about our educational programs, please contact:

Mr. Fabian Ruehle, EU Educational Director, ruehle@centropa.org

Dr. Lauren Granite, North American Educational Director, granite@centropa.org

Mr. Marcell Kenesei, EU Jewish School Coordinator, kenesei@centropa.org

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